Los Angeles: Scarlett Johansson, star of the Marvel superhero film “Black Widow,” sued the Walt Disney Co on Thursday, alleging that the corporation breached her contract when it provided the film on streaming at the identical time it played in theatres.
Disney mentioned there was “no merit” to the lawsuit, saying it had complied with her contract. It additional in a statement that the release of the film on its streaming platform had “drastically enhanced her (Johansson`s) potential to earn supplemental compensation on top rated of the $twenty million she has acquired to date.”
Johansson’s complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, argued that the dual release technique of “Black Widow” had diminished her compensation, which was primarily based partly on box workplace receipts from what was supposed to be an unique run in cinemas.
“Black Widow” debuted on July 9 in theaters and for a $thirty charge on the Disney+ streaming services. Disney has been testing the hybrid pattern for some movies in the course of the coronavirus pandemic as the corporation attempted to enhance its streaming services although quite a few film theaters all over the planet had been closed.
Johansson`s lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that Disney wished to steer audiences towards Disney+, “the place it could maintain the revenues for itself although concurrently developing the Disney+ subscriber base, a confirmed way to enhance Disney`s stock cost.”
“2nd, Disney wished to considerably devalue Ms. Johansson’s agreement and therefore enrich itself,” the lawsuit mentioned.
The suit seeks unspecified damages to be established at trial.
The final result could have broad ramifications in Hollywood as media businesses test to construct their streaming companies by giving premium programming to lure subscribers.
The Disney statement mentioned the lawsuit was “particularly unhappy and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged international results of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Black Widow,” the story of the Russian assassin turned Avenger, pulled in $80 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices in excess of its debut weekend. The film also created $60 million via Disney+ purchases, Disney mentioned.
Johansson has played the character in 9 Marvel movies.
Other film studios which includes AT&T Inc`s Warner Bros. have negotiated payments to actors and other people concerned in movies that had been initially planned for theaters only but also provided on streaming in the course of the pandemic.
Johansson`s suit mentioned her representatives approached Disney about resolving the situation but had been “largely ignored.”
The actress topped the Forbes magazine record of the world`s highest-paid actress in 2018 and 2019. Johansson`s pre-tax earnings totaled $56 million from June 2018 to June 2019.
Disney also is giving a identical-day streaming release beginning Friday for “Jungle Cruise,” an action-journey film starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.